Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has encouraged young people to make education a priority, as it has the ability to transform the fate of their generation and many more to come.
“Our government needs young people who are educated so they can run the country. We need skilled young people,” the Minister said.
She was in Thabong in the Free State as part of the digital migration project. The Department of Communications is working together with the South African Post Office to reach out to communities and distribute subsidised television decoders (set-top boxes) to qualifying households. South Africa is switching from analogue to digital transmission.
Mokonyane visited households that qualify for STBs. She also handed out certificates to 50 youths who were trained to install STBs.
Samuel Kgaswe, one of the young people who received training, told SAnews that he is happy to be part of the group who will be installing STBs.
“I thank our government for offering us training to install the decoders. I am prepared to serve our communities,” he said.
Thato Leqwa, who also received training, thanked government for the skills development opportunity.
The Department of Communications is also enlisting the support of provincial government and municipalities to encourage qualifying residents to register for STBs.
Ishmael Maleke (77) of Thabong in Welkom, one of the beneficiaries of the government subsidised set-top boxes, said his TV viewing experience has improved.
“I am very happy that government has provided me and my family with a decoder and that I am able to view clear TV pictures,” he said.
Mokonyane also visited another household that benefited from the government subsidised decoders.
Jacquie Lentswe (85) was excited to see the Minister visiting her household.
“I am now able to view clear pictures,” Lentswe told the Minister.
During her visit to Thabong, Mokonyane was accompanied by the Free State Acting Premier and SABC officials among others.
According to the Department of Communications, the primary aim of digital migration is to release valuable spectrum which will be used to provide new services such as wireless and other broadband services.
To qualify for these government subsidised decoders, television viewing households must be earning less than R3 200 per month. Additional information is available at all Post Office centres nationwide.
The department says there is an estimated 350 000 qualifying television viewing households in the Free State. To date, over 150 000 decoders have been installed in the province.